Department of Community Affairs/Department of Health and Senior Services
(Trenton) Before firing up the grill this Holiday weekend, Community Affairs Commissioner Lori Grifa and Health and Senior Services Acting Commissioner Mary O’Dowd recommend that residents review tips for safe grilling and food handling to avoid illness and injury this summer.
“Grilling is a fun outdoor activity that can be safely enjoyed if people take the necessary precautions for preparing, using and storing the grill,” Commissioner Grifa said. “It’s especially important to properly check your gas grill for leaks before using it for the first time this season. Fires and explosions are most likely to occur when a grill hasn’t been used lately or when the propane gas container has been changed.”
Nationwide, an estimated 3,800 gas or charcoal grill-related injuries were treated in hospital emergency departments in 2010, according to the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission.
And when preparing and serving foods this summer, keep your family and guests safe by cooking food thoroughly and holding foods at proper temperatures.
“An estimated 76 million Americans get sick each year from foodborne illness caused when food is not prepared or cooked properly,” Commissioner O’Dowd said. “There are simple steps you can take, such as using a food thermometer to confirm that meat is cooked to a safe temperature.”
Most households use propane grills for outdoor cooking. When preparing to use the grill for the first time this season, never use matches or lighters to check for leaks. Instead, apply a thick soapy water or leak-detection solution around the connection between the propane cylinder and grill hose. Bubbles will form if propane is escaping. If a grill has a gas leak, call the local fire department.
Both gas and charcoal grills should only be used outdoors in well-ventilated areas. Avoid grilling on porches, in garages, or on an apartment terrace. Coals should be allowed to cool completely before a grill is brought indoors or into a camper to avoid the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Here are some additional tips for safe summer cookouts:
For the complete list of grill safety tips and additional grill safety information, please log on to http://www.nj.gov/dca/codes/ and/or http://www.state.nj.us/dca/divisions/dfs. For more information on food safety, please visit the Food and Drug Safety Program’s website: http://www.state.nj.us/health/foodanddrugsafety/index.shtml.